Did you ever live out in the country in Ireland and they’d have the Stations of the Cross in a house and the whole community would come along? People from the parish or the catchment area would show up and belt out the old tunes of Hail Mary. Act of Contritions and Our Fathers and then once ended the real fun would begin with the socialising afterwards. The women would have all these great sandwiches made and all sorts of baked goods ripe for the munching, there’d be tea and coffee and maybe a “drop” for some of the men. News would be exchanged, stories retold, introductions made if there were new people there and an almost knife fight to be the next house to do them. Ahh country life. I actually kind of enjoyed them apart from that god stuff. It’s a very interesting way of getting a community together and socialising and not one pub was needed.
I got thinking of this due to Kevin “Cool Tool”s Kelly. Kevin has written an inspiring blog post about the idea that an artist or musician or writer could survive by having just 1000 fans but these would be “true fans”. The loyal fans would would spend a days salary on you over a year. It’s taking the idea of the long tail (hype hype) and moving away from the end but not hugely towards the top. It brings you to a point where you can get a regular or safe enough income from people who know you and regularly support you from the liking your work and that working the room or the circuit enough to get these 1000 could be enough for most people to be able to do what they love and remain comfortable.
He points to Danny O’Brien too who talked about being at a house concert and it’s an interesting concept. An up and coming or maybe slightly established musician plays your house. You are her mini-patron in a way. 40 people at most coming to your house party. She plays, everyone loves her music, they might go beyond getting turned into a fan and maybe turn into a true fan or an evangelist. As the person that organised the house party you get attention and adoration from people who might never have experienced this person before. Maybe they’ll buy five cds off her there and then.
Kevin Kelly’s essay is probably going to inspire many blog posts from me alone on this concept and you can see from the comments on his post that it could very well turn into a book judging by the feedback and examples he’d collecting. It made me think of something else though. The ideas of BarCamps and the ShareIT experiment I tried and the offers of free blog training in Cork and Dublin are nice ways of meeting people and sharing but they could still be friendlier. The banter after is always better and more information can be exchanged too after.
I really wonder could you do the idea of a house training session. Do some simple training sessions for an hour with a group of people and then socialise afterwards. Kind of like the Help Yourself idea but in someone’s sitting room. With apple tart. And ham sandwiches with mustard. Or lentils with mustard. 🙂 This would be very basic stuff obviously and would be geared to people who have not been to a session before. Am sure there’s all sorts of legalities with public liability insurance or some such thing too. I’d love to try it out though. Oh and it would have to pay. The trainer gets some money and those attending pay but also have to chip in for the catering.
What do you think?